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Tanduay launches huge comeback to hand Cafe France first defeat


By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Tanduay completed a comeback from 20 points down to give Cafe France-CEU their first loss in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup with an 84-80 win at the Ynares Sports Arena on Thursday night.

The Bakers appeared to be heading to a rout after blowing the game open in the second quarter to take a 47-27 lead in the period.

But the Rhum Masters slowly crawled back in the second half before Adi Santos scored the go-ahead basket with 1:21 left in the game for an 82-80 lead.

Cafe France had chances in the remainder of the game as Tanduay missed their own shots, but they failed to capitalize on the Tanduay misses and Reden Celda sealed the endgame rally with two free throws.

Gelo Alolino finished with 22 points, while Santos added 17, eight in the fourth quarter, with nine rebounds for Tanduay.

"Yung baon lang namin tapang at lakas ng loob. Di kami nag-give up.... Ang di ko matatanggal is yung pagpupursigi ng mga bata. Handa silang magpakamatay para manalo.... Buti na pang we woke up in the nick of time," said Coach Lawrence Chongson.

Rod Ebondo, Samboy De Leon, and Carl Cruz each tallied 15 for Cafe France, whose loss leaves Phoenix, which won earlier Thursday against Blu-Malaysia, as the only remaining unbeaten team in the conference.

[Related Story: Phoenix withstands Blu-Malaysia's gallant stand]

Box Scores:

Tanduay 84-Alolino 22, Santos 17, Celda 12, Vigil 9, Belencion 6, Javillonar 6, Acuna 4, Mendoza 4, Gotladera 2, Tagarda 2, Enguio 0, Lingganay 0, Stevens 0

Cafe France-CEU 80-Cruz 15, De Leon 15, Ebondo 15, Zamar 10, Jeruta 8, Manlangit 8, Casino 6, Opiso 2, Villahermosa 1, Abundo 0, Parala 0

Quarterscores: 18-20, 30-47, 50-59, 84-80

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno